Jenn McMillen

Chief Accelerant, Incendio

I’m Jenn McMillen and the founder of Incendio, where my specialty is increasing topline revenue by turning data into revenue-generating customer programs. Prior to starting Incendio, I had a long retail career with GameStop, Michael’s, Tuesday Morning, JoAnn Stores, Blockbuster and others. Today my team and I help companies solve and overcome their CRM, loyalty, and customer experience challenges.

I am a nationally known loyalty & CRM expert, recognized by the CRM community and my peers with major industry awards for programs such as GameStop’s PowerUp Rewards, which has more than 35-million members, many of whom pay an annual subscription fee for an enhanced experience. I built the program and launched it, changing GameStop’s entire marketing strategy and creating a multi-million-dollar revenue stream.

In addition to PowerUp Rewards, I have created and/or run several well-known loyalty and subscription programs in addition to PowerUp Rewards, including myGNC Rewards, United Airlines’ Silver Wings Plus, Vail Resorts PEAKS, Payless ShoeSource Points, Neiman Marcus InCircle, and one of the first big national loyalty subscription programs in the 90’s, Blockbuster Rewards. I belong to more than 100 loyalty programs.

I love to write (journalism degree and voracious reader), and I have a wicked sense of humor.

For more information, visit:

  • Posted on: 05/18/2022

    Walmart and Target report higher sales and lower margins

    We shouldn't expect the same news next quarter, as they will need to raise prices to keep the market wolves at bay.
  • Posted on: 05/09/2022

    Has Etsy been missing the boat with men?

    Etsy's commercials do tend to skew heavily female, so if awareness is the issue, start there. Show men using Etsy items to decorate their own homes or giving Etsy gifts to the men and women in their lives.
  • Posted on: 05/09/2022

    Grocers fret over how to pass higher costs onto customers

    What a great opportunity for grocers to plug their loyalty program -- highlight the value proposition and decrease the likelihood that consumers need to go somewhere else.
  • Posted on: 05/05/2022

    How should retail companies best navigate the abortion controversy?

    Retailers who are offering medical benefits to their employees, such as travel allowances to get the care they need -- whether it's an abortion, cancer treatment whatever -- wherever they need it, are my heroes. But those that take a political position publicly, such as Disney did with the "don't say gay" law, should be prepared for the backlash unfortunately. These are tumultuous times.
  • Posted on: 04/22/2022

    Will workouts drive loyalty for Lululemon?

    A paid tier in a loyalty program is a constant revenue stream for the business, but it's all about the value proposition for the consumer. Make it worthwhile, and the ardent hand-raisers will show up. A paid tier is also an aspirational mechanism, giving the masses something to shoot for, so if it's all about community, then Lululemon should work hard on the conversion aspects.
  • Posted on: 04/22/2022

    Will unlimited free drinks pay off for Panera?

    Subscription is a fancy way of saying "you're pre-paying for your own discounts," but for some, that value proposition is worth it. Prepaid, after all, is the highest form of loyalty. My only reservation is that this worsens the trend of turning every Panera into an office for the masses if it's really popular.
  • Posted on: 04/18/2022

    Are fuel-driven deals worth pumping?

    If I were a grocer with gas pumps, I'd be touting our always-on fuel points you get by buying gift cards that you can turn into discounts either off groceries or gas -- both highly desirable right now. No need to wait for a particular day of the week or daypart to get it.
  • Posted on: 04/12/2022

    Target launches new program for used apparel

    Target is built for scale, and this doesn't seem like a scalable opportunity. So it will be interesting to see if this is a long-term initiative.
  • Posted on: 04/07/2022

    Will JCPenney’s core customers come back and show their love?

    Having done a lot of work for JCP on their loyalty program, I can say that it's got to start with the merch. Their core customer is not a trend-seeking Millennial. She's a woman in her 50s who wants to look current, but not trendy. Kohl's has scooped them on relevant celebrity collaborations, which resonate with consumers. So whatever happened to Lionel Richie's home line at JCP? Just curious.
  • Posted on: 03/29/2022

    Will swimwear become Victoria’s Secret weapon?

    Victoria's Secret was a swimwear powerhouse in the '90s, but they walked away from that business when it was deemed "off strategy." It's a different marketplace now, so the trick will be delivering on the inclusivity promise, which has not been their strong suit.
  • Posted on: 03/24/2022

    Can Dr. Pepper build a better bottle?

    This issue has gone mainstream, parallel with Starbucks' announcement this week that they plan to phase out plastic cups in lieu of reusable ones.
  • Posted on: 03/23/2022

    Will a robot chip away at Chipotle’s labor issues?

    I've had my food delivered by a robotic server twice in the last two weeks. So if robots are bringing food, what's to stop them from making food? Robots are likely the answer to labor shortages and, as long as you remember to charge them overnight, they don't call in sick. Or post TikTok videos about bad customer behavior, steal from you, or violate the dress code. :-)
  • Posted on: 03/21/2022

    Macy’s lets associates express their style

    People naturally gravitate to others who look like them. The positive effects of this decision could be increased average ticket, more repeat visits if a customer finds someone who they trust for advice, and also increased employee satisfaction and retention.
  • Posted on: 03/15/2022

    Will customers grow to love Walgreens’ digital cooler doors?

    I just experienced this in NOLA last weekend on Canal Street. The video screen promises a fully stocked cooler based on the visual, but then you open it, and it's a bunch of sad reject bottles at the bottom of the cooler and empty shelves. Doesn't make me want to return.
  • Posted on: 03/10/2022

    Eddie Bauer has a lot of stories to tell

    To make a content strategy really sing, Eddie Bauer needs to make sure its content and values are working in concert, or the whole thing will read as inauthentic. Or worse, like they're dilettantes. REI has the credibility in this space because they are a tip-to-toe outfitter; Eddie Bauer has nice outdoor wear, but would you trust only their gear to take you to the top of Mt. Everest?

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